Airbnb

It took just six months for Luke Richardson to make a splash in the world of short-term lodging: Airbnb just named him as its top new host in Oklahoma.

That seems quick, but he came to Airbnb with a few years of experience in long-term rentals. He and his wife, Joni, own 28 "doors" now — that's real estate language for rental units — after buying the first one in 2017.

His Airbnb unit, dubbed Walk to Paseo/Western Districts, is one side of a duplex built in 1924 and remodeled with a mid-century modern vibe at 1013 NW 33. It has two bedrooms and one bath and accommodates up to four guests.

The criteria for being named as top new host included becoming an Airbnb host in 2021, and hitting a certain number of guest check-ins. His listing has about 100 reviews and he is maintaining a top rating as an Airbnb "Superhost."

Feeling welcome in Oklahoma City

What made it an immediate success?

Luke Richardson, shown inside his Airbnb at 1013 NW 33, is Airbnb's top new host in Oklahoma.
Luke Richardson, shown inside his Airbnb at 1013 NW 33, is Airbnb's top new host in Oklahoma.

Airbnb says its best hosts "work hard to give their guests the best travel experience possible (and) make their guests feel comfortable, cared for and truly welcomed in both the space where they are staying and in the surrounding area."

They also "anticipate guests’ needs, mind the details and add thoughtful touches that surprise and delight."

Richardson said he didn't see the accolade coming.

"It definitely caught me by surprise. It's definitely an honor, I appreciate it. I kind of pride myself on communication, whether it's my long-term tenants or short-term, I treat them just the same, you know — how I'd want to be treated," he said.

That kind of at-your-service mentality could be from the 20 years he worked in his family's cemetery business: They own and operate Hillcrest Memory Gardens and Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Spencer.

Kitchen of Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.
Kitchen of Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.

But Richardson, who lives in Edmond, said something else was at play, too, the old saw about real estate: location, location, location.

"The location is great, central to all the main districts in town," said Richardson, who is 42. "You have Western Avenue less than a mile away. The Paseo is less than a mile away. The Plaza is just over a mile. The Asian District is a half-mile away. Midtown, a mile away.

"So it's a 10- to 15-minute walk to Western and Paseo, or a two- to three-minute car ride to all the others. With it not being immediately in those districts, Paseo, Midtown, the price is quite a bit less per night."

Since he started, he said, he's had just three nights of vacancy at $78 to $95 per night, and has averaged 16 turnovers a month.

"We do a lot of one-night stays, people passing through the city, coming into town for a concert, something like that," he said.

One of two bedrooms in Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.
One of two bedrooms in Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.

Who's staying?

Guests have run the gamut.

"All ranges. You have young married couples looking for a night out, to professionals coming through town, to people just traveling across the country," Richardson said. "I had people stay here for a week for the College Softball World Series. Rodeo events.

"I was expecting it to be more people working on a contract for a week downtown, or (say) a traveling nurse. But it's been anybody and everybody."

The only trouble he's had with guests was one who smoked inside and one who stayed two hours past checkout time.

Success bred success. He started a second Airbnb a couple of weeks ago near NW 43 and Western. It's been vacant one night.

With so many properties now, and probably more to come, and his wife with her own career, their Triple H Investments LLC could use a crew — and they're raising one: Holden, 15; Hayes, 10; and Hollis, 7.

"The 15-year-old, as soon as he starts driving, he's mowing the lawns," Richardson said.

Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.
Luke Richardson's Airbnb at 1013 NW 33.

Senior Business Writer Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate, and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at rmize@oklahoman.com.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Airbnb in Oklahoma City has top new host in entire state of Oklahoma

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/airbnb-top-host-oklahoma-look-110203291.html

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